Sunday, September 07, 2008

Dirty Politician: Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY)

Long-time drug warrior politician Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) turns out to be a dirty politician. As Radley Balko of The Agitator puts it:
...the chair of the House Committee that writes our tax laws didn’t know that he’d been given an interest-free loan for a luxury Caribbean Villa, didn’t know that he was getting taxable income off of rentals from said villa, and didn’t know that he had a duty to report and disclose and report the $75,000 in income from said rentals that apparently slipped his notice?

Riiii-iiiight. This would be the same guy who didn’t know how he somehow was able to accumulate four rent-controlled apartments in New York City, and didn’t know about laws against using rent-controlled apartments for purposes other than a primary residence.

Rangel’s either a corrupt liar, or he’s shockingly ignorant of laws a man with his position and responsibilities ought to know about. Either way, he should be stripped of his chairmanship.

I'd go farther than that--any corrupt politician should be removed from office and tossed into prison. It rarely happens, because nearly all of them, along with the leaders in the executive branch, are similarly corrupt.

1 comment:

Hume's Ghost said...

The last thing I had heard about Rangel was this

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles B. Rangel is soliciting donations from corporations with business interests before his panel, hoping to raise $30 million for a new academic center that will house his papers when he retires.

The New York Democrat has penned letters on congressional stationery and has sought meetings to ask for corporate and foundation contributions for the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at the City College of New York, a project that caused controversy last year when he won a $1.9 million congressional earmark to help start it. Republican critics dubbed the project Rangel's "Monument to Me."

The congressman has corralled more federal money as well, securing two Department of Housing and Urban Development grants totaling $690,500 to help renovate the college-owned Harlem brownstone that will house the center, according to HUD and school officials.

"It is a personal dream of mine to see this Center at City College, which resides in my congressional district and where so many talented young men and women from the community have gotten an excellent education," Rangel wrote in a March 7, 2007, letter to real estate mogul Donald Trump, one of the business leaders the congressman has solicited.

Ethics experts and government watchdogs say it is troubling that one of the nation's most powerful lawmakers would seek money from businesses that have interests before the committee he leads. Rangel's panel has broad jurisdiction over tax policy, trade, Social Security and Medicare.